Dubbed the “Rematch of the Colonials vs the Indians” on social media, the Iroquois Nationals did not disappoint on Tuesday night with a well fought victory against Team England, playing at a sold out Onondaga Arena. The final score was 20-6 in favor of the Iroquois Nationals.
“It was a great game for the Haudenosaunee,” Iroquois Nationals head coach Rick Kilgour said on the team’s website. “This is the first international game on home soil. I think the guys showed how fired up they were in that first quarter. We kept playing hard, and they (England) showed lots of pride, playing a little rough to try and get back in it. But we stayed the course, took care of business and got out of here with a win.”
The first quarter was a blow out with the Iroquois Nationals scoring 10 unanswered goals in the first quarter. The quarter was dominated by Jeff Shattler and Lyle Thompson with three goals each, Roger Vyse scored two and both Brandon Goodwin and Miles Thompson each scored one.
In the second quarter, Team England’s Cole Shafer scored twice, but was soon answered with two more goals from Vyse and a first time tournament goal from 17-year-old Austin Staats.
For the remainder of the quarters, Shafer earned two more goals for England, however the Iroquois Nationals continued to step up and Shattler scored two more goals and Randy Staats, Lyle Thompson, Vyse and Tommy Montour scored one each.
With impressive goal tending by Mike Thompson who was credited with making 36 saves, while England’s Nick Rose was peppered with 76 shots and Eliot Pugh faced six, the Iroquois Nationals rose to the call with an impressive win and 14 goal lead by the game’s end.
“It’s a true honor to play this tournament here,” Austin Staats said on IroquoisNationals.org. “It’s a great chance to show the world what we have. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. I’m just excited to be part of it all.”
“I don’t feel any pressure,” Brier Jonathan also said. “If anything, it’s more exciting. We’ve got the butterflies out early in the tournament. It really is an honor to play in front of and for our people at home. We’re going to do our best to keep rolling.”
A tough moment for a Team England player - Photo: By SmartPixPhotography
Iroquois Nationals Coach Rick Kilgour spoke not just about the win, but the pride he and the team feels about playing in the Onondaga territory.
“It’s a huge honor to be playing this tournament here,” Kilgour said. “I know when it was announced that it would be here, everyone wanted to be part of it. As soon as I heard where it would be on Native territory, and to be the first team to host something like this, I wanted to be part of it. It’s an extreme honor. I think everyone has taken it seriously. And we’re going to do our best to take it to the end.”
According to the Nationals’ site, The Iroquois Nationals conclude their round robin portion of the tournament Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., when they take on the Czech Republic at Onondaga Arena.
For more information about the Iroquois Nationals and the remainder of the WILC – you can visit their website here.